Sorry, Dems, Gallup's Poll Can't Be Dismissed

GOP's lead on the generic ballot the 'new normal'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2010 1:28 PM CDT
Sorry, Dems, Gallup's Poll Can't Be Dismissed
A June 24 file photo of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.   (AP Photo/Louie Traub)

(Newser) – If Democrats were hoping that stats guru Nate Silver would dismiss the new Gallup poll—which shows a record 10-point lead for Republicans on the generic ballot—as an aberration, they're out of luck. It's true that the poll is probably what he calls an "outlier"—that is, if it were taken tomorrow with different voters, it probably wouldn't show the same 10-point margin—but it still reflects deepening trouble for Democrats, he writes at his FiveThirtyEight blog for the New York Times.

Most polls show the GOP lead on the generic ballot to be about 5 points. "This is not the situation the Democrats faced earlier this summer, when the generic ballot was closer to even," he writes. "Back then, a 5-point Republican lead on the generic ballot would have been pretty big news; now, it seems to be the new normal." The generic ballot, of course, isn't the be-all, end-all determining factor for the midterms, but it's still a legitimate cause for concern among Democrats.
(Read more Gallup poll stories.)

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